Returning: Gruen Nation. Airdate: The Hamster Decides.

2012-09-24_2257ABC sent a number of newsrooms into meltdown with a Press Release announcing the return of Gruen Nation and the arrival of The Hamster Decides.

Many were thrown by the email subject: “RUDD NAMES ELECTION DATE.”

Don’t they know these boys love to play with our heads?

Apparently most thought it was hilarious, but a few branded it “irresponsible.” Naturally!

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has moved decisively to end speculation about the date of the next federal election.

“The Australian people deserve certainty about who scrutinises and satirises the contest to become Prime Minister,” said Mr Rudd, taking time out from Twitter to confront the issue. “When I heard that the lack of a definitive election date was making it difficult for ABC1 to schedule the return of election specials Gruen Nation and The Hamster Decides by the Chaser, I asked the Governor General to set an election date immediately, and one that suits the national broadcaster.

“The election will now be held on Saturday, September 14, 2013. We can now ensure that Gruen Nation and The Hamster Decides are able to do four pre-election specials each, a double act starting on Wednesday, August 21 at 8.30pm.

“When the election is over, The Hamster Decides will contribute a post-vote wrap-up, mostly to cover the next Labor leadership spill. Gruen Nation will continue its tragic identity crisis and become Gruen Planet for the following eight weeks.”

Gruen Nation host Wil Anderson welcomed the Prime Minister’s move. “Not knowing the election date was very inconvenient for us,” he admitted. “And after all we’ve done for this government, I was a bit surprised they didn’t sort it out a little faster.”

Anderson dismissed speculation that the election might not be held on September 14, a date chosen by Mr Rudd’s predecessor: “I can’t imagine Prime Minister Rudd would want to compromise Julia Gillard’s legacy by doing something like that. He’s always struck me as the kind of man who lets the past stay in the past.”

Executive Producer of The Hamster Decides, Julian Morrow, confirmed both programs will proceed if the election happens earlier. “If there’s an early election,” he explained, “we’ll just reduce the quality of our shows.”

The new Director of ABC Television, Richard Finlayson, said, “There’s no f#*king way I’m letting them use my name in a fake quote.”

“That’s fine, they can use mine,” said ABC Managing Director, Mark Scott.

Gruen Nation (4×45’), followed by Gruen Planet (8×35’), premieres Wednesday, August 21 at 8:30pm on ABC1.
The Hamster Decides (5×30’) premieres Wednesday, August 21 at 9:15pm on ABC1.


  1. Secret Squirrel

    @mason – after having now watched the first ep of This Week Live, I would suggest that there is no dilemma. Hamster beats ham-fisted comedy.

  2. Secret Squirrel


    The difference between ABC TV media releases and most of those from the commercial networks is that they presume that I have intelligence, rather than insulting it.

    Oh, and they’re not full of grammatical errors and spelling mistakes.

  3. Such a staggering difference between the ABC and free to air. The ABC respect their viewed and actually lets them know far in advance when a show is going to air. The other networks are too busy looking at what the others are doing and too scared to announce a date until the day before

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